Lego chooses local GC to build its massive factory in Chesterfield, delays start date

lego factory rendering ground breaking scaled

A rendering of Lego’s planned $1 billion, 1.7 million-square-foot factory, where the company will make Lego bricks and package the building-block kits. (BizSense file)

Lego has tapped a local general contractor to help oversee construction of its massive manufacturing facility in Chesterfield.

The Danish toy giant confirmed that Richmond-based firm Hourigan will build the $1 billion factory complex through a joint venture with Kentucky-based contractor Gray.

Lego said it expects work to kick off later this year on the construction of what will eventually be 1.7 million square feet across 13 buildings in Meadowville Technology Park.

The Chesterfield campus will manufacture Lego bricks and package boxed sets, as well as be home to offices and warehouse facilities. The company plans to hire more than 1,760 employees for its Chesterfield plant over a 10-year period.

The news of the contractor selections came as Lego also announced a delay in the anticipated start of production at the facility. The company previously said it expected to get the plant up and running in 2025 but now expects production to begin in 2027.

Factors that contributed to the change in timeline included reassessment of the project’s design and ramp-up plans in the courses of nailing down its agreement with the general contractors.

Hourigan, run by namesake Mark Hourigan, declined to comment for this article and referred questions about the project to Lego.

The Chesterfield facility is expected to be Lego’s second plant in North America, adding to one in Mexico. Lego plans to have a total of seven factories worldwide with the arrival of the Meadowville plant.

Initial work on pad-site infrastructure was already underway on the 340-acre site that will be home to the factory, following a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony in April 2023.

Lego said the newly announced general contractors will oversee continued site work this year ahead of the construction of the plant’s buildings, slated to start later in 2024.

“We are pleased with the progress we’re making with our investment in Virginia and grateful for the continued support from the local community,” Lego COO Carsten Rasmussen said in a prepared statement. “We are looking forward to partnering with Gray|Hourigan to commence construction work and retain the good momentum we’re seeing across the site.”

Timmons Group is the project’s engineer.

Danish companies COWI and Arkitema Architects were selected to create the project’s master plan and schematic design. North Carolina-based LS3P Associates was tapped to handle construction drawings.

lego ruffin mill packaging facility

Lego Group has set up a temporary packaging facility at 1600 Ruffin Mill Road in Chesterfield. (Courtesy Lego Group)

The announcement follows the start of operations in October of Lego’s temporary packaging facility at 1600 Ruffin Mill Road in Chesterfield, where the company packages building-block kits.

Lego has more than 200 workers at the temporary facility, and the plan is that those employees will transition over to the permanent manufacturing plant once it is operational.

The company also announced Thursday that executive Preben Elnef will be the point man overseeing  the development and opening of the Chesterfield facility.

Lego unveiled its plans for a Chesterfield factory with Gov. Glenn Youngkin and state and local officials in June 2022.

Hourigan’s other ongoing projects include the first office building that’s rising at the Springline at District 60 redevelopment project in Chesterfield as well as the new headquarters for nonprofit Feed More, slated to be completed this fall.

lego factory rendering ground breaking scaled

A rendering of Lego’s planned $1 billion, 1.7 million-square-foot factory, where the company will make Lego bricks and package the building-block kits. (BizSense file)

Lego has tapped a local general contractor to help oversee construction of its massive manufacturing facility in Chesterfield.

The Danish toy giant confirmed that Richmond-based firm Hourigan will build the $1 billion factory complex through a joint venture with Kentucky-based contractor Gray.

Lego said it expects work to kick off later this year on the construction of what will eventually be 1.7 million square feet across 13 buildings in Meadowville Technology Park.

The Chesterfield campus will manufacture Lego bricks and package boxed sets, as well as be home to offices and warehouse facilities. The company plans to hire more than 1,760 employees for its Chesterfield plant over a 10-year period.

The news of the contractor selections came as Lego also announced a delay in the anticipated start of production at the facility. The company previously said it expected to get the plant up and running in 2025 but now expects production to begin in 2027.

Factors that contributed to the change in timeline included reassessment of the project’s design and ramp-up plans in the courses of nailing down its agreement with the general contractors.

Hourigan, run by namesake Mark Hourigan, declined to comment for this article and referred questions about the project to Lego.

The Chesterfield facility is expected to be Lego’s second plant in North America, adding to one in Mexico. Lego plans to have a total of seven factories worldwide with the arrival of the Meadowville plant.

Initial work on pad-site infrastructure was already underway on the 340-acre site that will be home to the factory, following a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony in April 2023.

Lego said the newly announced general contractors will oversee continued site work this year ahead of the construction of the plant’s buildings, slated to start later in 2024.

“We are pleased with the progress we’re making with our investment in Virginia and grateful for the continued support from the local community,” Lego COO Carsten Rasmussen said in a prepared statement. “We are looking forward to partnering with Gray|Hourigan to commence construction work and retain the good momentum we’re seeing across the site.”

Timmons Group is the project’s engineer.

Danish companies COWI and Arkitema Architects were selected to create the project’s master plan and schematic design. North Carolina-based LS3P Associates was tapped to handle construction drawings.

lego ruffin mill packaging facility

Lego Group has set up a temporary packaging facility at 1600 Ruffin Mill Road in Chesterfield. (Courtesy Lego Group)

The announcement follows the start of operations in October of Lego’s temporary packaging facility at 1600 Ruffin Mill Road in Chesterfield, where the company packages building-block kits.

Lego has more than 200 workers at the temporary facility, and the plan is that those employees will transition over to the permanent manufacturing plant once it is operational.

The company also announced Thursday that executive Preben Elnef will be the point man overseeing  the development and opening of the Chesterfield facility.

Lego unveiled its plans for a Chesterfield factory with Gov. Glenn Youngkin and state and local officials in June 2022.

Hourigan’s other ongoing projects include the first office building that’s rising at the Springline at District 60 redevelopment project in Chesterfield as well as the new headquarters for nonprofit Feed More, slated to be completed this fall.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
2 months ago

This adds to the pressure for more housing and services in the Chester and Bermuda One Hundred area. You can’t promote job growth and stifle housing.

geri nel
geri nel
2 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

I’m for growth for without it every community is a stagnant, dying pond. Bruce’s comment brings two thoughts to the forefront. First, Bruce is correct according to Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. It cites Richmond’s renters with rent burden that is = or > than 30% is 52.0% exceeding NYC (51.2%), Chicago (49.2%), San Fran (47/2%), and DC (46.5%). Second, State Representatives are attempting to usurp local governments and local cities from controlling their zoning. Senators Lamont Bagby(D-Bagby) and Azlan Salim (D-Fairfax) each have proposed bills to take power away from the local citizens. Bagby’s bill (SB 544) passed… Read more »

Susan Accashian
Susan Accashian
2 months ago
Reply to  geri nel

Absolutely!

John Lindner
John Lindner
2 months ago
Reply to  geri nel

If all all STRs in the Richmond metro were eliminated, it would add maybe 1000 housing units to a metro area of 1 million. They make for great scapegoats. But the housing crisis is much, much larger than that, and won’t be solved by all of the proposed local regulations.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
2 months ago
Reply to  John Lindner

I tend to agree — I think govt has to provide incentives like they did after WWII.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
2 months ago
Reply to  geri nel

Yeah I saw that two and actually discussed it with a third person a couple days ago who had also seen that Harvard Study. Shocking and also interesting. I wonder WHY Richmond has this distinction…. I think the why is probably important, and I doubt it has to do with local control of zoning, since that goes on almost everywhere and there are a LOT of places that are a lot more restrictive, whether they call it Smart Growth or whether it is just “we don’t want a lot of apartment dwellers” Yes. I tend to support as much local… Read more »

Will Meyer
Will Meyer
2 months ago

Congratulations to Hourigan!
Positive news.
Could not think of a more suitable company in RVA to spearhead this project.

Roger Turner
Roger Turner
2 months ago

I have pointed this out before but it seems like such a no-brainer that I bring it up again. I sincerely hope that Lego with this massive investment in Richmond can partner with the Squirrels some kind of way and have a “Kids Lego” area somewhere in the new ballpark as an added amenity. I imagine the majority of young kids might lose interest in sitting through a nine inning baseball game but nearly all would love some kind of interactive Lego area to break up the time. And to be honest, many adults would enjoy also! Also it would… Read more »

Dr. Abe Gomez
Dr. Abe Gomez
2 months ago
Reply to  Roger Turner

This is a great idea! Just FYI, there will be a fairly large showroom at this manufacturing facility.

Scott Brown
Scott Brown
2 months ago
Reply to  Roger Turner

That’s a great idea. They could expanded it to the Kickers and maybe even a relationship with area colleges and school systems.

Peter James
Peter James
2 months ago
Reply to  Roger Turner

Love it, Roger! Great idea, and I love the thought of LEGO perhaps grabbing the naming rights to the ballpark. Truly a home run. 👍

Last edited 2 months ago by Peter James
John Linthicum
John Linthicum
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter James

Think of the endless possibilities if the commitment was made to build the stadium out of actual Legos!

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
2 months ago
Reply to  John Linthicum

Good one!

Michael Boyer
Michael Boyer
2 months ago
Reply to  Roger Turner

Already got hands in their pockets?

Ramone Antonio
Ramone Antonio
2 months ago

This should’ve been built downtown

Roger Turner
Roger Turner
2 months ago
Reply to  Ramone Antonio

Do you know of any 340 acre parcels downtown?

Ramone Antonio
Ramone Antonio
2 months ago
Reply to  Roger Turner

Who said it had to be built that way instead of upward? It would have attracted more attention. If Richmond wanted it they would’ve made room

Last edited 2 months ago by Ramone Antonio
Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  Ramone Antonio

Show us where this is done.

Justin Ranson
Justin Ranson
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Turner

Honestly, they could have made it work at Navy Hill, with a bit of verticality. Would that have been a good idea? I have no idea.

Ramone Antonio
Ramone Antonio
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Ranson

It would have been but Richmond va is very conservative small minded and against change. Expect to get thumbed down for it lol

Last edited 1 month ago by Ramone Antonio
Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  Ramone Antonio

To the degree that this is true (and it ain’t just “Conservatives” — it is often more people mired in the past and some of those people WANT change — like, they want to turn Richmond into Havanna change) But, you DO realize that Lego is run by people with named like Carsten Rasussen, right? These are supposedly the most progressive people in the world which is why they used to have Climate Junkets there so we could “learn from them.” Not by people from Richmond — this is not some Richmond Venture — the people who run Richmond are… Read more »

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  Ramone Antonio

And, one need only drive to Canada to see that large factories in places like Montreal and Toronto are always rather horizontal and outside the urban core.

But, not only is this “backward thinking” not a USA thing, it is also not a North America thing.

Here’s a picture of Tesla’s factory outside of Berlin:

comment image

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Ranson

Well, the fact that this is pretty much NEVER done, not even in say, France or Germany, should give us a clue, right?

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
2 months ago
Reply to  Ramone Antonio

LOL!!